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Old 09-08-2011, 06:34 PM   #1
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Default Keggle valve - weld or not?

I'm picking up a keg this weekend (sanke?) that I'm turning into a keggle. I believe it's aluminum. I have a friend who welds, should I have the spigot welded on or not? Does it matter?

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Old 09-08-2011, 06:44 PM   #2
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While I have heard of aluminium kegs, all of mine (and most that I have seen) are stainless steel. With that being said, I have used all weldless fittings on my setup and have no complaints. If you get the correct size orings and fittings you should have no issues. Some do prefer welded fittings and I will let the chime in on the reasoning. If done right, I think either way is perfectly acceptable.

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Old 09-08-2011, 06:49 PM   #3
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its difficult to find half or full couplers in aluminum, and its difficult to weld a steel coupler to aluminum. if your keg is really steel like most are, i would say just have it welded. i prefer that because, as long as its done correctly, you will perminantly have no leaks and there is no way bacteria can get into a weld like they can around the sides of a compression seal. plus welds will stand up to direct fire/heat. orings and clamps generally wont.

either way can work though, and it comes down to how much work you want to do, what you have availble, and the end result you desire.

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Old 09-08-2011, 06:50 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rsklhm10 View Post
While I have heard of aluminium kegs, all of mine (and most that I have seen) are stainless steel. With that being said, I have used all weldless fittings on my setup and have no complaints. If you get the correct size orings and fittings you should have no issues. Some do prefer welded fittings and I will let the chime in on the reasoning. If done right, I think either way is perfectly acceptable.
Hmmmm, I'll have to check the material. I was under the impression that they were generally aluminum.
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Old 09-08-2011, 07:27 PM   #5
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All of the straight sided kegs I've ever seen are stainless steel. Older kegs (think antique rounded kegs with wood bungs) were often aluminum.

It is definitely possible that there are some newer aluminum kegs out there, but they would be the exception. When you look at a keg, you should be able to tell by attempting to scratch it with your house key. Aluminum is much softer and will scratch more easily and deeply. If you have a powerful magnet, you may be able to get a very slight magnetic pull out of SS but you'll get absolutely nothing from aluminum. This is not a reliable test as SS is not generally magnetic. I've put a rare earth magnet up to my kegs though, and felt a tiny pull.

To comment on the original question, I've got one welded port and one weldless on my SS brew pot (not a keggle, but similar) and I have not yet found any major advantage or disadvantages to each. If I were to add another port tomorrow, I'd go weldless for the sheer convenience of it. If I were to design whole new brewing system from scratch and spare no effort or expense, I'd get them welded.

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Old 09-08-2011, 07:35 PM   #6
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Getting the weld done is not going to be an issue. I'll have my friend take it into his dad's garage and weld it up.

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Old 09-08-2011, 07:36 PM   #7
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Unless your friends are good with SS welds, and have the ability to back gas properly, I'd recommend going weldless. You can ruin a perfectly good keggle easily by welding incorrectly. Trust me, I learned this lesson the hard way. Unless your buddies are experienced TIG welders with stainless, stay far away.

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Old 09-08-2011, 07:41 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tasq View Post
Unless your friends are good with SS welds, and have the ability to back gas properly, I'd recommend going weldless. You can ruin a perfectly good keggle easily by welding incorrectly. Trust me, I learned this lesson the hard way. Unless your buddies are experienced TIG welders with stainless, stay far away.
+1
I can run a MIG welder and and happy to do things like welding a brewstand, fence posts, what have you. TIG allows you do get really nice clean welds that are more easily made water/air tight. If you guy is an experienced TIG welder then by all means, go for it! Otherwise, I'd suggest going ahead with the weldless option, you won't regret it.
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